Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The lost art of the coherent sentence 2

I had forgotten this amazing piece from Joseph O'Connor on the topic of being inordinately fond of the word "like"
RSS readers may need to click through to the post
Big hat-tip to Matto for reminding me of this one – it really, like, brightened up, like, my day? Ya know?

2 comments:

David said...

I like enjoyed these posts - thanks for the Joseph O'Connor piece. You hit on one of my pet peeves. For my sins I teach communications and am a career coach and, like you, wish people could use straightforward language without all the fillers and noise. I’ve often been tempted to carry a recorder around with me to capture the more outrageous examples. I'm not sure "like" is a completely new phenomenon although, here in California at least, it seems to have reached crazy levels. I seem to remember a panelist on a British Sixties TV show who said “loik” a lot.
I noticed one of my colleagues was using one phrase a great deal so I gave her some feedback. Unfortunately I hear it everywhere now. I watch the TV, listen to the radio, converse with friends and clients and hear, “I have to tell you, ….” I want to interrupt with, “No. You don’t.” Why do these fillers seem to be so contagious?

Rowan Manahan said...

I had a client some years back who used to break up every other sentence with the phrase "As the fella says" - a weird verbal tic if ever I heard one. When I pointed it out to him, he looked blankly back at me. He was TOTALLY unaware of this nervous habit of his.

As a species, we admire the skills of communication and revere those who can communicate effectively. Naturally, there is a bell curve of ability in this regard, but when I encounter outliers from the left side of the curve, it really can be jaw-dropping.